What Does "Data Gathering" Mean In Terms of Performance Management?

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If we are to make decisions about whether an employee has succeeded at achieving his or her goals (to review during a performance appraisal), it helps to go beyond a "gut-feeling". Data gathering refers to the process of collecting data, or information relevant to the employee's goals and objectives.

For example, if an employee has the following goal/standard:

Answer all phone calls within five rings.

it would be helpful if we actually had some hard data so we could determine how many calls were answered in less than five rings, and how many were answered after more than five rings. Then the discussion doesn't have to be based on gut feelings, but can be based on hard data.

This can help reduce disagreements, since the discussion can be about more than opinions.

However, data gathering can be costly and time consuming, so generally, it's best done with goals and objectives that are very important. Data gathering need not only be done by the manager. In fact, often it's part of the employee's job to gather some of this data.


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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


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  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

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